*Last Day Witnesses!

Part 2

When the sons of Benjamin refused to deal with the rapists among them who viciously attacked and murdered a Levite's concubine, all of Israel gathered to fight against them because, “...nothing like this had ever happened or been seen from the day when the sons of Israel came up from the land of Egypt to this day...” (Judges l9:30). United as one man, Israel went up against their own brethren – the Benjamites. All except one tribe from Jabesh-giliad, 25,000 Benjamites fell in battle – but 600 were permitted to stay alive to keep the tribe from extinction. But because of the NEUTRALITY and apathy of Jabesh-giliad, every man was “utterly destroyed” (See Judges 2l:l0-ll).

Israel declared that he and his family were set forth as a sign or type of the Lord's TRUE WITNESSES. The Spirit of Jesus was upon him and his family. “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in Mount Zion...” (Isaiah 8:l8). A more accurate Hebrew translation is: “I and the children which Jehovah hath given me for signs and types of Israel...” (Keil-Delitsch). In other words, Isaiah and his children are signs, symbols of the Lord's true witnesses in Zion.

The importance of this prophecy is discovered when these very same words are ascribed to Christ in Hebrews 2:l3): “Behold, I and the children which God hath given me...”

The type is found in their names! Isaiah had a wife who was a prophetess and two sons. Jesus understood the types Isaiah spoke of – and that is why He declared His own witness to be of the same character.

Consider the name ISAIAH: “OUR SALVATION IS JEHOVAH!” The full meaning of his name is found in Isaiah l2:2 - “Behold, God is my salvation: I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation...” This precious servant had seen a vision of the terrible and awesome holiness of God. He had seen the seraphims of glory hide their eyes at the sight he beheld. He had heard the thundering voices of angels crying, “Holy, holy, holy!” He had been humbled and shamed by the uncleanness of his lips – and of the sin among God's people. He had experienced the burning purging coals from God's altar. He was never to be the same. God's holiness was now his vision, his witness his ministry. He was not out to get anybody – he was not vindictive. Isaiah understood that God's redemptive love was behind all His righteous judgments. His wrath was meant to produce future grace upon a purged and purified people. But never again would this witness permit sin against God's holiness to go unchallenged.

Isaiah knew that if he stood only for God's holiness – it would bring down upon him the wrath of all the people of God who were cozy with the world! He and all who stood with him would be ACCUSED OF BEING UNPATRIOTIC! They would be called conspirators – division mongers. But, Isaiah was so clear in his vision of God's holiness – so sure that God would judge sin – he cared not what they said. He warned, “Say ye not, a confederacy (conspiracy), to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy(conspiracy)...neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid...” (Isaiah 8:l2). What the prophet was saying was, “Don't be put off by their accusations that you are a traitor, a conspirator, or unpatriotic because you tell the truth about God's holiness and righteous judgments again sin in His house! DON'T FEAR THEM – NEVER BE AFRAID TO STAND UP FOR HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS...” “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose hear is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their reviling” (Isaiah 5l:7).

Isaiah was fearless against sin in Israel because he knew that God had promised to become A SANCTUARY to all who stand for Him. “Then...he shall be for me a sanctuary...” (Isaiah 8:l4).

Who is it who will be hidden in God - protected from all the arrows and fiery darts of the enemies of the Lord? THERE IS A CONDITION! - “Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread...” (Isaiah 8:l3). Those who fear God and dread His righteous judgments need fear no living man, no demons, no principalities or powers of darkness. Those who stand in awe of His holiness will discover Christ as their hiding place!

Isaiah states he is a type - “Land my children....” Therefore, the true witness of this last day is one who, like Isaiah, has been shut in with God – having been broken and changed by a vision of His absolute holiness, and he goes forth to preach reconciliation to sinners, and to stand in the sanctuary as a witness to God's own people of His righteous judgments..


Judgment is speedily approaching

Consider the meaning of Isaiah's sons: SHEAR-jashub and MAHER-SHALAL-HASH-BAZ. The second son bears the longest name in the Bible. But it is also the name Christ bestowed on all His true witnesses – that is how important this name is. This name in Hebrew means, “Plunder speeds; spoil hastens.” In modern English it is: “A time speedily approaches of general disturbances, plunder, and ravage. “This son's name was written on a sign and posted in a public place where all could see it. It was the witnesses of God against a backslidden idol-worshipping nation. It stood there – before the onrushing multitudes as heaven's sure word of prophecy. Loud and clear was the message on this sign.”Judgment is at the door-time is running out!” And keep in mind this witness was posted against God's own stiff-necked children.

The Lord's true witnesses must take the gospel to a lost world – to every nation under heaven. But every true witness also must bear the prophet's mournful vocation of hardening the hearts of Christians who refuse to hear what the Spirit has to say. God commanded Isaiah: “Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not...make the heart of this people (God's people) fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes....” (Isaiah 6:9-l0).

Paul understood what Christ meant when He correlated His last day witnesses to Isaiah and his sons. In fact, Paul, the powerful witness of Christ, himself quotes Isaiah: “And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word. Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet...saying, Go unto this people and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand, and seeing ye shall see and not perceive. For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have shut...”(Acts 28:25-27).

The Holy Ghost preached through Paul the message concerning sin, righteousness and judgment. Wherever the Holy Ghost is in charge, this is the message. But those who refuse to hear it and repent are hardened by it. What is not of the Spirit focuses on self: self-improvement without repentance and hatred for sin.

When Isaiah was receiving his vision of God's holiness and after he was purged by fire – he heard the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Isaiah answered, “Here am I -send me!” (Isaiah 6:7-8).

What was this commission – What was this holy assignment? To go into the Lord's sanctuary among His people and render them insensitive! Preach them blind and dumb! Preach God's holiness until their hearts are like flint...”In it shall be a tenth (who) will hear and return to the Lord...”(Isaiah 6:13).

Jesus Himself declared that His teaching had the same effect on the hypocrites of Israel. He said, “I speak to them in parable: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand...”(Matthew l3:l3). Then, amazingly He quotes that same passage from Isaiah, :..in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah...for this peoples heart is waxed gross (callous), their ears are dull...their eyes they have closed.”...(Matthew l3:l4,l5).

From Isaiah, from Paul, and from Jesus we receive the same frightful warning: Their sins have blinded and hardened them – and the warnings of judgment will not move them. They will turn away and shut the message of righteous judgments out of their minds! That is exactly what is happening this very hour throughout the evangelical and especially the Charismatic circles. Only a broken-hearted remnant believes judgment is at the door. Only a small, maligned and despised group now preach it. The Lord's true witnesses are few in number – but praise God, He is 'awakening' many more. Sadly, the majority prefer to wink at sin – they refuse to mourn over the sins in the sanctuary because they are too wrapped up in their Laodicean riches and blessings.


A remnant will be saved

Isaiah's firstborn was named SHEAR-JASHUB (Isaiah 7:3), which in Hebrew means, “A REMNANT IS


Here is the second characteristic of the Lord's true last-day witness! They believe what Jesus said, “Many will be called, but few chosen...Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it...Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able...” The Lord's TRUE WITNESS must obey the command to take the gospel to the world to “whosoever will hear.” He is to expect fruit for his labors – and to make disciples of these prepared to walk in holiness. The true witness must live in the hope of Holy Ghost outpourings, revivals, restorations, and the conversion of multitudes in heathen nations. Much of the civilized world has been shaken by mighty revivals in past centuries. Under the Roman Emperor Constantine, entire nations were “Christianized” - with a form of godliness without the power. And today, multiplied thousands are turning to Christ behind the Iron Curtain, China, Africa, South America and elsewhere. While, at the same time, gospel-saturated America becomes hardened and corrupt.

Please, continue to Last Day Witnesses, Part 3.